Masks continue to prevent the Illinois General Assembly from doing business.
During the first half hour of the House session yesterday on Capitol Hill, the leaders of every party issued pleas for civility.
House Speaker Chris Welch and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin had a message for everyone in the chamber: The public is watching and it’s time to get to work.
Tensions are high in the room. From Tuesday through Thursday last week, several GOP members refused to wear face coverings, accusing Democrats of hypocrisy for enforcing mask requirements on the House floor, but not at fundraising events. of funds, and blaming the majority party for not voting on the governor’s authority to issue statewide mask mandates. That led to a motion Thursday by Rep. Lakesia Collins, D-Chicago, to remove nine Republicans from the floor for violating House rules.
According to Capitol News Illinois, three members were removed from their positions yesterday, Rep. Dan Caulkins of Decatur, Blaine Wilhour of Beecher City and Adam Niemerg of Dietrich. All three were allowed to participate in remote voting. Wilhour currently has an active lawsuit over the deletions, suing Welch over the mask warrant. Wilhour is represented by attorney Thomas DeVore.
House rules regarding masks and temperature checks were approved last spring when the House convened in an abbreviated session after canceling several sessions due to the surge in the delta variant of Covid-19.